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With Hip-O Select's North American CD reissue of B.B. King's Mr. Blues (1963) in 2006, this comparatively inferior and overpriced import is rendered inconsequential. The original long-player was the artist's first for ABC-Paramount and centers on a trio of early-'60s sessions -- March 1, 1962 with the Maxwell Davis Orchestra, September 19, 1962 as Belford Hendricks arranges, and April 11, 1963 under the guidance of Teacho Wilshire. Perhaps producer Sid Feller is the common denominator, however there is an immediate stylistic kinship between King's presentation of "Young Dreamers" and that of labelmate Ray Charles circa his groundbreaking Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music (1962) era. Among the most startling similarities are the strong presence of the backing singers -- who, frankly might as well be co-leads along with King -- and the tinge of gospel influence heard in the soulful organ accompaniment. All of which occurs before King even sings or plays his first note. "On My Word of Honor" is the other entry from the same Teacho Wilshire-led recordings and bears a similar full-bodied production. The four Belford Hendricks-directed cuts are more in keeping with the modern electric blues. "By Myself" and "A Mother's Love" are similar in structure as King's mature and expressive vocals are at the heart and soul of both. More heavy-handed are the syrupy stringed setting of "Tomorrow Night" and the Jesse Belvin co-penned "Guess Who." The remainder of Mr. Blues [King] provides a platform for B.B. King's true and natural artistry to surface. The tight punch of Maxwell Davis' horn section on the covers of the "Chains of Love" and "Blues at Midnight," serve to accent King's blues testifyin'. They join the pre-British Invasion sounding rave-ups "My Baby's Comin' Home" and "I'm Gonna Sit in 'Til You Give In" to be marked by some of King's unmistakably buoyant fretwork.